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Wednesday, 18 October 2017
Page: 7807

Senator RUSTON (South AustraliaAssistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources) (09:32): Without going through the answer that I gave to a previous question, the decision about the specifics of the office accommodation are obviously a matter for the RIC board; the decision to locate the RIC in Orange was a decision of government. The decision of government was based on a number of criteria, which I talked about in the answer to a question yesterday: the importance of Orange as an agricultural hub which is well serviced by transport links, particularly from Canberra and Sydney; the opportunities for growth in that area; and the fact that it also meets the existing strong commitment by this government to establish hubs in rural and regional areas of Australia.

In addition to that, obviously we had discussions with other operations in Orange to assure ourselves that this was a suitable place for this corporation to go. Departmental officers, I understand, have met with stakeholders in Orange to discuss the establishment of the RIC in that city, that regional location. The meetings were held with a number of organisations, including the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, the New South Wales Rural Assistance Authority, the Regional Development Australia Central West division, Paraway Pastoral Company, the Rural Financial Counselling Service New South Wales Central Region, Orange City Council, Orange Business Chamber and the New South Wales Farmers Orange branch.